Probably the greatest Hercules in the world
Leigh | Dorset, UK | 06/20/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film is probably the definitive Hercules movie starring the definitive Hercules, Reg Park. Not only does he look the part, his lightweight, yet sincere performance adds a great deal of depth to what would otherwise be a two dimensional character. His personality actually penetrates the clumsy dubbing. Unfortunately, this edition of the film is not the full European version, adding new titles and a needless voice over explaining plot and character motivation which we really don't need. Also, much of the original music score is lost in the process. This is also the case for "Hercules in the Haunted World", a film distributed by the same company as this one. The intention is to link the two films, when in fact they are two different visions by two different directors. But this aside, Reg Park is the greatest Hercules on screen, followed by Steve Reeves as a close second, so enjoy the fun."
Hercules in Atlantis
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 01/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Hercules (Reg Park) is heading off somewhere when he encounters a woman trapped in a rock. It turns out that the woman is the daughter of the Queen of Atlantis, and a sorcerer called Proteus had entrapped her in the rock to provide the blood he needed for his powers. Hercules, always enthusiastic to save people in distress, does battle with Proteus, who is a shape shifter. Proteus turns himself into fire (a cool special effect), a dinosaur (not so cool, looks like a guy in a suit), and a buzzard (attack buzzard; not very realistic). Of course Hercules prevails over Proteus.
It turns out that the Antinea, Queen of Atlantis (Fay Spain), is unenthused about her daughter returning. In fact, Antinea seems quite enthusiastic about sacrificing people to various gods and other beings, one of those being Uranus, who left a drop of his blood nearby. Antinea has been exposing children to the blood to create warriors.
In the course of all this rescuing, Hercules is looking for a friend who washed overboard during a storm. Of course Antinea has captured his friend and has treated him so that he has lost his memory.
To add a little spice to the mixture, a local priest wants Hercules to expose the blood of Uranus to sunlight, which will cause havoc of all sorts and end the reign of tyranny by Antinea.
This movie is reasonably good. I had to laugh at the concept that Hercules caused the sinking of Atlantis, but since there is a lot of debate about whether Atlantis ever existed, and if it did, what caused it to sink, well, why not Hercules? Otherwise, Reg Park plays Hercules in a very casual manner, somewhat like Arnold Schwarzenneger's Conan. Hercules seems lazy and carefree in this movie.
I hesitate to recommend this movie because the Italian sword-and-sandals genre is many decades in the past. If you have seen other Italian Hercules movies and liked them, then you will mostly likely enjoy this one. However, remember that this movie was filmed in 1961 and production values were very different then. Also, this movie is dubbed from the original Italian, so there are occasional problems with the dialogue syncing with the scenes. Good luck!
A cut above the usual
Brian C. Holly | Pittsburgh, PA United States | 07/06/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A cut above the ususal muscle-man, sand-and-sandal movie. The plot, such as it is, hinges on exposing children to a drop of blood shed by the god Uranus as he flew into the sky fleeing the attack of his son Cronos. This "drop" of blood has burned its way into a mountain and the children are brought to this cave to be exposed to it and thereby turned into invincible warriors who, when they finally take off their helmets, look like some terrifying Nazi cloning experiment. For just a moment, this movie truly captures the wonder and awe of Greek myth. Reg Park is fine as Hercules -- rather less wooden than most, and the rest of the cast is OK. There's the usual bad dubbing and absurd dialogue. But there are genuine moments of wonder and a nice surprise or two."
One of the best Peplums ever
Bryce David | Cyberspace | 05/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN (also known as HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS), is one of the best Sword & Sandal films ever made. It's big, colorful and very fun. If Frederico Fellini had directed an action film, it would look like this.
The film was way ahead of its time, regarding the psychedelic colors and imagery, the massive sets, the surreal action. It looks and feels like a big summer blockbuster made 47 years ago (it was made in 1961 but released in 1963 in North America). The film had a big budget and was shot in 70mm film stock and the DVD transfer, which is presented in widescreen here, has an amazing amount of details, even if the transfer itself could have been a bit better. I can't imagine how more amazing the film would look like with a perfect transfer or projected on a big cinema screen.
Reg Park fits the bill as Hercules and he does a good job but he's no Steve Reeves, Mark Forest or even Richard Harrison when it comes to acting or looks. Park is believable during the action scenes but he's a bit stiff during the acting scenes. The cast is excellent, including Fay Spain, Mimmo Palmara and the beautiful Laura Efrikian, who's a revelation here. But the best actor in this film is Ettore Manni. His acting is effortless and always believable. The DVD has the US version of the soundtrack, including the score. The only weak point I could about this film is the soundtrack. It needed more omph. I wish the Italian soundtrack was available on the DVD.
In all, I highly recommend this Peplum.
p.s.: the original title was HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS but the more sensational HERCULES AND CAPTIVE WOMEN still makes sense because Laura Efrikian is seen bound to rock, with other petrified women, when Hercules fights Proteus. In fact, the whole plot is about Laura being a sacrifice."